On Monday, Oct. 15, at the Selectmen’s meeting, the chairman of the Finance Committee gave a speech criticizing the Mitchell team's plan to build a new DPW complex at either the sewer department land off Providence Road or on the existing Fletcher Street site.
The cost for the garage, storage space, workers spaces, salt shed and wash building would be $1.8 million. He voiced this criticism after he and the DPW director pointed out that they thought that it was a great opportunity to buy a used building that requires extensive renovations and is inadequate, other than size, for a total cost of $3.1 million. He then took his ball and went home rather than stay, listen to our proposal and then enter into a discussion.
The citizens of Northbridge should be asking why they should be spending more and getting less..
You deserve better.
The citizens of Northbridge should also start wondering why so much effort has been put into defeating a viable project for $1.8 million to take on a substandard one for $3.1 million. Why is there resistance to working with the private citizens who put forward a plan for a new, modern building by providing professional services at no cost to the town?
They say it’s because we didn’t provide “quotes” when we had six bids for the building, which everyone from the town manager, finance chair, BPCC and the DPW director are aware of. We also have secured an actual construction bid from a contractor for building our latest design.
No plan has the remediation costs for the Fletcher Street site so that cost item is not part of any solution at this time.
Our $1.8 million proposal has more space to house the same number of vehicles as the two 19,000 square foot buildings-one for 3.1 million and one for 8.5 million.
Our plan has free, open space to back vehicles in without the worry of columns, as does the HKT plan (for $8.5 million) but the Douglas road building has columns within the vehicle storage space.
Our proposal has 10 doors of adequate size for the vehicles, HKT’s also (at a cost of $8.5 million) but Douglas road has five and even with renovations to the front elevation, which will require major structural revamping, will only have six.
Our plan allows two deep parking with plows attached, HKT allows two deep without plows (for $8.5 million) and Douglas Road with only six doors must have truck movement within the building. Movement required, not only because of the lack of door access, but also because of the columns which will require bollards around them diminishing the usable space even more.
The remainder of our costs, added to the $1 million for the building, were put together by professional engineers and estimators for a total of 1.8 million.
HKT’s total cost is $8.5 million by professional engineers and estimators.
As stated by the DPW director, the Douglas Road total cost of $3.1 million was put together by a retired architect and the DPW director, who has offered to sign a document that the cost will not go over that amount. The renovations have not been specified in any detail, so this number is essentially meaningless at this time.
The choice is now up to the citizens of Northbridge. Please don’t just listen to the rhetoric.
Ask questions, seek answers and then vote for the best proposal for the town.
As someone who has been involved in the pro-bono process from day one, I am stunned by the continued negative attacks.
I have served the town on Northbridge for over 35 years, including as a Selectman, and I am asking you to vote yes on article 17 at the town meeting, October 23 and take back your town.